Saris H3 Discussion/Issues

Lame sauce :frowning:

My only issue with the H3 is the absurdly weird fit it has with Saris’ own rocker plate. Like the left foot is half off the plate and the whole assembly feels like it leans to the left by 1-2degrees that I can’t correct…

Assuming you have it set so the bike is truly dead center to the deck (trainer offset left like you mention), you may want to add a counterweight. That has the biggest counterweight available an it’s enough to throw off the balance even with the stiff leveling springs they use. 10lbs is usually enough when placed far right on the deck.


I had this issue trying to download the newest firmware. However, when I installed all the updates since the one the trainer was on sequentially it worked.

Yep that was my next try after adjusting the feet didn’t fix it. It’s barely noticeable as is, but still noticeable to me.

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Let us know if that helps. :smiley:

My H2 whined (a lot more) in ERG workouts when I was in TBR. I was likely over cranking that thing and it was letting me know it was about to depart the Earth. Odd thing was when I dropped to TSR, it ‘felt different’. Couldn’t explain it, but it just felt different. Ended up just getting used to the whine in TBR. It was already hideously noisy so the added noise was just more of a different frequency. (I was so shocked that the H3 was so much quieter. The same (looking) trainer, and it’s that quiet? Freaky…)

  • For others that sometimes struggle with abbreviations / acronyms…

    • TBR = The Big Ring
    • TSR = The Small Ring
  • To the whine, that is totally expected with the H1 & H2 that featured a cogged belt & pulley system. That is similar to the first couple gen of Wahoo Kickrs. The faster you spin these trainers, the louder and more high pitch the noise from them.

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  • Those notches actually lead to air getting trapped and squeezed out with each in/out of the belt & pulley.

  • This is also expected. The change in gearing directly impacts how fast you are spinning the flywheel. Bigger Gears = Faster Flywheel and a more “high inertia” feel as a result.

  • Drop the gearing a bunch like you did, and there will be less effective “assistance” since the flywheel spins slower. This is more like riding on rougher surfaces at lower speeds or climbing hills.

  • This feature difference can be leveraged by riders to train in ways that mimic the inertia they plan to need and ride at outside. Additionally, for anyone testing on trainers like this, it’s best to test in the same basic gearing that you plan to use for your training sessions.

  • It’s possible for large differences between flywheel speed in testing vs training can lead to a different effective FTP and training load. It’s something that is overlooked at times and can lead to issues if there are enough differences between testing and training.

  • Again, this comes down to the change of using a poly-v belt & pulley system. This is inherently more quiet and is what Wahoo made in their first truly quite trainers. Saris and others followed suit and matched that change.

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  • Not all the pulleys have matching grooves, but this is more quiet because it lacks the trap & release issue of the cogged system at the top.

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And also create friction with the mating surface between the cogs and the belt, as well as introducing harmonics in the whole system. Some of that could have been picked up by the bike attached to the trainer. (Someone actually suggested that filling bike frames with foam would help attenuate (deaden) the ‘honking’ of contaminated disc brakes on the idea that a frame could amplify the sound) So for a trainer drive system, ribbed or smooth belts were an easier solution.

But, yeah, my comment was to reinforce the idea that the noise would be louder in the big ring because of getting that physical flywheel to spin so much faster. The system tracks the cadence, but not the actual RPM of the flywheel.

I’ve got an 11 speed bike but was just going to buy a cheap trainer of any apples for the trainer - are there any issues to be aware of?

I believe an 8 speed microshift cassette is only about £8. Any issues with using that on an 11 speed ultegra drive train?

If you are running it in Erg mode all the time, it should be OK. The cogs will be thicker than what the 11 spd chain is designed for, so it will likely be noisier than an 11 spd cassette and I suppose you would theoretically Ave faster chain wear as a result, but since it is inside and away from the elements, it is probably marginal, at best.

If you want to use it for Zwift, though, it won’t work because the shifting spacing will be very different than the cassette spacing.

If you are willing to use Microshift or other off-brands, there’s other 11-s road cassettes for not much more than the 8-s.

Honestly, I don’t think cheaping out on a cassette makes sense. Spend a bit more and have a proper setup that gives the most flexibility of use.


I used an Ultegra cassette on my 2T. It was quiet and shifted far better and the amount of time I was riding it, it was totally worth it since I ride far more indoors than out. Riding R8000 Di2. It just worked so much better. If you ride far more outdoors, I can see using a cheap setup indoors, but the added wear has to be taken into account at some point. Cheaper cassettes are noisier and more noise means more wear.

Lane change: People complained that they had to buy a cassette for the 2T, but I’d rather have it that way so I can then ride what I want and not be coerced to ride the included cassette, or have it taking up bin space until I donate/toss it. shrug You do you…

Still on cassettes: How many people were looking for cassettes during the pandemic and could only find NOS (New Old Stock) Dura-Ace? That was a surprise.

Happy to report that ever since I pulled the trigger and bought a Kickr Bike my H3 has been working flawlessly. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


That’s why I am asking I would only go cheap if they’re isn’t a penalty. As I am a regular Zwift racer I need the gear changing ability

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No I ride way more indoors in the Scottish winter. Also 11sp di2 just feels like everything is expensive and now I need to buy another ultra cassette. But I accept it’s an expensive hobby and that’s what I need to do.

You don’t have to use an Ultegra cassette, it just seems to run quieter/better with one over time. It’s made for Di2 with special sauce baked in at the factory (angled teeth, and such). I’ve used 105 cassettes too which are okay too, just seem a little noisier. I’m just glad I had a trainer that I could hear the drivetrain over its noise. #FirstWorldProblems?

I ride indoors mostly because I stretched a couple tendons in my wrist and hand. I’m trying to avoid surgery which is ghastly from everything I’ve seen. They drive pins into the wrist to immobilize the bones tied together by the tendons, and the pins stick out through the skin for the first couple weeks, and then they cast them in place for 3 or 4 months. All an injury on a ‘safe’ rail trail.

Be careful out there!

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Anyone have issues with intermittent squeeking from their H3 while riding? Was having this issue in the past as well as red dust coming through the vent holes of the trainer, contacted Saris, got a new belt kit sent to me by them, they never really indicated what the issue was just sent me a replacement belt kit. Its still squeeking. The belt should be aligned and the tension is appropriate, I’m guessing if its the same as before if the belt is squeeking, its also wearing… I don’t know what is causing it and as many have noted each email from Saris customer support has like a 2 week delay so takes forever to resolve something with them…

guessing new belt has to seat on the pulleys, could try some automotive serpentine belt conditioner, NOT WD40 or any lubricant you want a slight tackiness that the conditioner provides. also when off check no bits from the old belt are in the grooves and maybe wipe down with alcohol to be a clean surface for new belt.

The counterweight didn’t help. Used 8 lbs.

What helped was unstrapping the trainer and hitting the leg with a rubber mallet to shift the whole thing more toward the center by about an inch. I might’ve just had the thing too far to the left. Things still seem centered and I feel more level now. Might go a little more To the right.

In the end, the solution to many engineering problems is “hit it with a bigger hammer.”

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